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A deal to invest in streaming video services provider MX Player offers Tencent Holdings a foothold in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, where users avidly consume content via cheap wireless data plans. Photo: Agence France-Presse

Tencent eyes investment in Indian streaming video services start-up MX Player

  • The deal would give video games and social media giant Tencent a foothold in the world’s second largest smartphone market
  • India’s content streaming market is projected to reach US$1.7 billion by 2023

Tencent Holdings and Paytm plan to invest about US$100 million in Indian streaming service MX Player, according to a person familiar with the matter, as local and foreign companies compete for a piece of the country’s burgeoning online video market.

The WeChat operator and Paytm, India’s digital payments leader, are in the final stages of discussions but specific terms may still change, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details are private.

Jane Yip, a spokeswoman for Tencent, as well as representatives for Paytm and MX Player declined to comment.

Tencent, which also runs the world’s largest video games business, has invested in films, television shows and other content to increase user engagement.

Tencent seeks new growth in year of transition as consumer businesses mature

The Hong Kong-listed internet giant, which offers HBO series and National Football League games at home, launched its first overseas steaming video service last month in Thailand, as it seeks growth abroad.

The MX Player deal offers Tencent a foothold in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, where users avidly consume content via cheap wireless data plans.

India’s content streaming market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 22 per cent to 120 billion rupees (US$1.7 billion) by 2023, according to PwC.

For Paytm and parent One97 Communications, MX Player’s 30 million registered users adds to a plethora of offerings from food delivery and e-commerce to financial services. Paytm reported 5.5 billion transactions in the year ended March, with a gross value of more than US$50 billion.

Netflix and Amazon are among streaming giants seeking to cash in on India’s booming smartphone market, where there are 700 million users

MX Player is one of a coterie of streaming video services vying for a slice of a highly fragmented, but fast-growing market. Owned by Times Internet, a unit of top Indian media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co, MX Player generates about two-thirds of its viewership from smaller towns and competes with the likes of Netflix,’s Prime video and market leader Hotstar, owned by Walt Disney Co.

Last month, Hotstar recorded 100 million daily active users, when about 15.6 million people watched a pivotal match between India and Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.